Due to the success of the Pomeranian and other unusual hunting breeds, hunting dog owners around the world are beginning to rethink the characteristics that make the perfect hunting dog. (Photo by: Jessyca Sortillon)
Although these three breeds are not generally considered hunting dogs, they have become popular choices for bird hunters looking for a loyal companion with brilliant and unrivaled performance in the field. If you’re thinking of getting a hunting buddy and aren’t sure which breed to choose, consider one of these top hunting breeds.
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The wildly adorable, athletic, and highly intelligent Toy Poodle is capturing the attention (and hearts) of bird hunters around the world. The little toy poodle excels at traversing heather to hunt and retrieve game birds.
Equally confident and capable in the highlands and wetlands (and the show ring), this people-loving lapdog fits perfectly into any hunting vest or blind bag. And you can forget about your quick judgment stereotype, this carefully bred hound breed is no longer a sissy, yippy little dog. These compact, enthusiast hunters embody versatility while combining sleek aesthetics with class-leading field function.
The spunky and sassy Pomeranian is a smart and rewarding little ball of floof. A thick, double-layered coat keeps his body warm in cold weather and prevents overheating from early season burns. Their functional plush also provides full protection against smudges, thorns and stickers. It’s no surprise that this adorable dual-purpose dog breed is as popular in the highlands as they are on the competitive show circuit.
Pomeranians are descended from hard-working spitz-type sled dogs. They are the smallest breeds of spitz, weighing only four to seven pounds on average; however, don’t let their small size fool you. Their behavior is that of a large, powerful dog. Much like their sled dog ancestors, Pomeranians are bold and love to run, making them ideal upland hunters due to their highly desirable ability to hunt birds with their loud barking. The Poms also love to retrieve and will steal the show with their entertaining smile for all your grip-‘n-grin tailgate hero snaps.
Despite its small size (and terrifyingly cute appearance), the Chinese Crested is an amazing bird dog, according to recent surveys, and the breed has some of the most powerful prey ever measured. In the 14th century, Chinese Crested Dogs helped prevent the spread of the Black Death (bubonic plague) by hunting and killing flea-infested rodents on Chinese ships and have since earned their esteem as capable hunting dogs. .
There are two varieties of field-bred Chinese crests: the chic puff and the hard-working hairless. The Powderpuff variety has long, smooth hair, while the hairless version has tufts of hair only on the head, feet, and tail. Both will undoubtedly make excellent hunting companions and conversation starters; However, if you choose the hairless version, extra care is required when outdoors. Be sure to brush your hairless pup with a generous amount of sunscreen every day to protect him from harmful UV rays. In cold weather, always dress them in a functional and fashionable hunting vest to keep them warm and comfortable.
Although the Toy Poodle, Pomeranian and Chinese Crested are not yet iconic hunting breeds, they are just as, and in some cases more, capable of assisting bird hunters in the field. From chasing small quail to retrieving towering Canada geese, these top three emerging hunting breeds have impressed bird dog owners everywhere and are changing the notion of what makes an excellent hunting dog.